This content is sponsored by District Department of Transportation
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of the most fun and celebrated times of the year. It is also one of the most dangerous holidays of the year for drivers and passengers. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the average number of fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers increases by 34 percent in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that during Christmas and New Year’s season, nearly 95 million Americans will be on the road traveling to visit family and friends. This elevated number of vehicles combined with an increased number of parties and celebrations often times leads to more impaired drivers on the roadways.
People are much more likely to drive impaired around Jan. 1 than during any other major holiday of the year. In fact, almost half of all car crashes on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are due to an impaired driver.
There are several ways that you can help ensure that you and your loved ones are safe this New Year’s.
- 1. Never drive impaired. Bottom line: If you are going to drink, don’t drive. The best thing you can do is to make a plan before you go out of how you will get home.
- 2. Designating a driver or making plans to take a taxi or carsharing service is helpful. Make sure you have the taxi number accessible or have downloaded and set up ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft in advance.
- 3. SoberRide – Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s Holiday SoberRide program partnered with Lyft again this holiday season to offer free rides. SoberRide will be offered nightly between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. from Dec. 15th until Jan. 1. To use this service download the Lyft app to you phone and enter the promo code. During this campaign, there will be three different single use promo codes issued. Each code will be valid for up to $15 off one ride taken in Lyft’s Washington, D.C. Promo codes will be posted at 2 p.m. on Dec. 15th, Dec. 23rd and Dec. 31st on www.wrap.org.
- 4. Be aware of friends that may have had too much to drink and are planning to drive. Take the keys if your friend is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend get a safe ride home.
- 5. Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm – 2am. Vehicle crashes due to impaired drivers are the highest during that timeframe.
If you are planning to drink, decide before you go out that you will not drive. Planning ahead is always a good idea when it comes to going out and celebrating. Have fun and be safe. Happy New Year’s!